Moneyball

I saw Moneyball a few weeks ago and I’m kind of interested to get some fellow baseball fan’s take on it.

Even though you didn’t ask, here’s mine:

The film itself was really well done and whether you agree with the concept or not, I highly recommend it. 

But as a baseball fan, I take issue with the general idea of ‘Moneyball.’ While the whole ‘rag tag misfits coming together to beat the big league clubs’ is a heart warming story, it’s not what happened. 

To portray that ‘Hollywood’ underdog story the movie had to ignore four key parts. Mainly, Miguel Tejada, Barry Zito, Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson. Anyone who has seen the movie knows what I’m talking about. There is no mention of the great seasons those four had in 2002. 

So for those who didn’t follow the 2002 A’s, they’re left to believe that Billy Beane and his fictional friend (played by Jonas Hill but based on Paul DePodesta) developed a secret formula to piece together an outstanding team for pennies. 

In reality (in my opinion anyway) they had three great young pitchers all click at the same time while pitching in a spacious ballpark. And they had a mashing shortstop in Tejada who hadn’t reached Free Agency yet and was playing for peanuts. 

Of course the biggest issue surrounding the Moneyball A’s is the fact that they never made it to a World Series, much less winning one. Personally I don’t think that is an accurate reflection of their season. They won 103 games that year, same as the Yankees. They just had some bad luck in the playoffs. 

As bad as it is to say the A’s won with some secret formula, it’s even worse to say the Red Sox utilized Moneyball for their championship years. The Red Sox won their World Series because they bought Manny, Curt Schilling, Pedro Martinez, and the Twins gave them David Ortiz for nothing. NOT because they traded Nomar for Doug Mientkiewicz. 

Anyways, that’s my thoughts on Moneyball….yours?

As for the ALCS, Nelson Cruz did it again tonight, launching two homers including a walk off grand slam. Not to take anything away from Cruz, but the average fan probably hadn’t heard too much about him prior to this series. It just goes to show you, October is a time where anyone can stand up a be a hero.

As for the NLCS, Shaun Marcum let me down. Still plenty of time for a come back though and the Brewers certainly have the bats to do it. 

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5 comments

  1. mlblogsgiantsbythebay

    I agree with you regarding Moneyball. I saw it over the weekend and noticed the same thing. Zito, Hudson and Mark Mulder were the key of a pitching staff in 2002. They remind A’s fans of Hunter, Holtzman and Blue back in the 1970s. Regarding the LCS, I’m disappointed with the Tigers showing, although they’re back in their ballpark for the next three games. I still feel that the Tigers will win in six and the Brewers in seven!
    -Wayne
    http://giantorture.mlblogs.com

  2. mlblogsyossif

    I haven’t seen the movie and it’s probably good, but what I don’t like is how Oakland didn’t even have a great year in 2002. Sure they got 103 wins, but they lost in the first round of the playoffs! The 2008 Rays had a smaller payroll, newer franchise, much worse previous years, and they beat their rivals to win the pennant. And they did with out Tejada (Steroids).
    The Rays Rant- http://yossif.mlblogs.com/

  3. This is a very simple game...

    I saw Moneyball and did enjoy it but didn’t love it. I did notice the rather glaring omissions, more so than in the book, of course. I was going to do a full write-up later this week but I do think that at least savvy movie fans know that saying “based on a true story” means roughly the same thing for movies about history as using the author’s name in the title means for movie adaptations of books.
    — Kristen

  4. mlblogsbluejaysnest

    Your link had it bang on Jeff. Hatterberg was played on a regular basis at DH, not benched in favour of Pena like the movie would have you believe.

    The fact that the movie goes through great lengths to ignore the contributions of Tejada and the Big Three pitching staff kind of proves the opposition’s point. While it’s a cute story, ‘Moneyball’ is a fairy tale concept at best, not a secret formula for winning ball games.

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